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Monday, September 14, 2009

The Black Dog

And what to do about him. It's not unusual to experience massive mood changes out here, especially if, like Muggins, you worry about stuff. Yesterday was an awful day - first the wind generator and then the little red sail proved more or less conclusively that it won't do what I wanted it to do, which was to act as a furlable downwind sail for twin poling in heavy weather. It acts just as I feared it would - when trying to roll it in with any wind at all in it, the lower part of the luff winds up bar tight and the top third is a flogging mess and almost uncontrollable. Sad - I had hopes for that baby and I'm thinking of a workaround. A sniffer wont do it but perhaps if I lay it out in Gib, put the hanked storm jib over the clew and more or less line it up with the after third of the red sail, draw a line on the red one up the luff of the storm jib, roll in the red one to that line as tightly as possible and then bind the rolled ends every few inches down to the top and bottom of the marked line, so - I hope - stopping it from unrollimg more that storm jib size and - again, I hope - make rolling in a very much smaller sail just possible. Us'll see.

Today, running south down 01013W, so clear of all the shipping inshore, but smack dabbety in line for tomorrow's 30 knots all down the coast. Poo. We're at 4428N, 428 miles clocked.

But 5 hours of good sleep (3 + 2) and a proper Berri breakfast of a guinness and a bacon sanod with lashings of tabasco and all's well - Black Dog banished into the outer darkness for the mo.

And Pete's colourful nethers are on the improve - still very sore but he's smiling a bit more. The Doctor for breakfast always helps.

For those of you who need to know, the satphone is up running and tested. If you want to talk to us, remember to hang up before it goes into voicemail (5 rings) and keep ringing back till someone answers.

Steve, got your message, thanks and Mon/Fri is fine. Bleep the satphone at other times.

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For info: position just given from Alex

The plan - such as it is

We're at 4602N 00944W with 325 miles behind us. 30 knots forecast for tomorrow and the next 2 days to the south of us. We will try to run south along a line just west of 10 W to about 36 N and then turn East for Gibraltar. In the meantime, I hope we will find out whether we can get the generator fixed in Gib - or, as an extreme option, one of us could fly to the UK with it. If all goes well we should be in Gib in about a week to ten days. Anne H in Falmouth - if you'd be so kind as to email the OCC Port Officer in Gib, we'd be very grateful.

Not having it working is not s true showstopper but it does make things much more difficult and this early in the trip and so close to potential help, I think it is sensible to try for the fix.

There seem to be echoes of that first voyage all through this - the unplanned stop in NZ and generator problems later.

Anyway - POO!

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